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Paperback A Passion for My Provence: Home Cooking from the South of France Book

ISBN: 0060931647

ISBN13: 9780060931643

A Passion for My Provence: Home Cooking from the South of France

With charm and enthusiasm, Lydie Marshall invites readers to explore the savory splendor of her native France. In A Passion for My Provence (previously published as Chez Nous), Lydie combines... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Another Excellent Culinary Evocation of Provence

On the shelves of most libraries and bookstores today, Italian themed cookbooks outnumber French themed cookbooks by about three (3) to one (1), as they do on my bookshelf. Of these Italian cookbooks, over half deal explicitly with a regional Italian cuisine, with Tuscany, Rome, and Emilia-Romagna leading the pack. Yet, the most common culinary region as book subject is Provence, in Southern France along the Rhone river. To many minds this is foodie central for the Mediterranean cuisine, being a location with a uniquely strong junction of olive, grape, and vegetable culture with the seafood of the Mediterranean. Not only are many books written specifically about Provence, but it is the spiritual center of inspiration for practically every major culinary writer in English, most prominently Julia Child, Richard Olney and James Beard, all of whom either maintained homes in Provence or visited the area on a regular basis.Not only does Provence lead in pure numbers, I think it also leads in the quality of the writing and in the diversity of the cuisine. As evidence, I submit a book I reviewed earlier, `Patricia Wells At Home in Provence' and my current subject `A Passion for My Provence' by Lydie Marshall. The two books have very similar chapter headings and both deal with tarts, daubes, vegetable stews, and fish stews aplenty. Aioli and tapenade flows over their pages like water. Still, it was very surprising to me to find virtually no duplication in recipes in the two books. This is doubly surprising because when I reviewed two books on Roman cuisine, I easily found five different entree (not condiment) recipes occurring in the two books with identical Italian names and similar recipes.Both authors conduct cooking classes in their homes in Provence. Ms. Marshall lives in an old chateau in Nyons, a small town on a small tributary of the Rhone in central Provence. Ms. Marshall is a native of France. Ms. Wells, a native American, spends most of her time in Paris, but she summers in northern Provence, where she and her husband have had a farmhouse for over twenty years.All of this makes choosing between these two books very difficult, especially since I believe the sizes of each book is almost perfectly proportional to the list prices and the presence of color photos in the more expensive (Wells) but not in the less expensive. The absence of common recipes in these books can probably be explained by the fact that both books specifically advertise themselves as collections of home recipes. As the two homes are separated by quite a distance in a very provincial land, it is no surprise that the two writers have little but a general style of cooking in common.Certain ingredients share the starring roles in both books. It would not be Provencal cooking without eggplant, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, cepes (porcini), monkfish, and chicken. Ms. Marshall has a great section on fowl of various types, but all recipes can be made with chicken if pheasant or guinea

Delicious and home cook friendly

This book is a gem. I feel this book more approachable than, say, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" to today's health-conscious home cooks. I have tried breads (fougasse, pissaladiere) to vegetables to chicken dishes to desserts with excellent results. Try her tartes (pies) for a change from your usual pies; they are truely eye-opening. Besides, it is a joy to read.

Great Recipes, wonderful anecdotes

An absolutely delightful addition to the important segment of books regarding Provence and cooking. Easy to follow, delicious recipes are accompanied by entertaining anecdotes.
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